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Wadena: School support workers in the Wadena School Division remained on the picket line today, continuing the job action they began at 9 a.m. on Friday.

The 80 education workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, say the rotating job action will continue until the school board drops its demands for concessions and negotiates a fair collective agreement.

The CUPE members are employed as teacher assistants, secretaries, caretakers, library assistants and other positions in the school division. They have been trying to achieve a new agreement with the school board for more than two years. The last contract expired on December 31, 2000.

Today marks the fourth time in the last month that school support workers have walked the picket line to demonstrate their resolve to achieve a significant wage increase, improved benefits and roll-back the employers demands for reduced seniority protection and other concessions.

,p> The job action affects schools in Kelvington, Rose Valley, Quill Lake, Archerwill, Wadena, Lintlaw and the Lakeside Hutterite Colony.

Support workers in the Wadena School Division are among the poorest paid of any unionized education workers in the province. The starting wage for a teaching assistant in the Wadena School Division, for example, is only $8.73 an hour, 16% less than the provincial average of unionized workers.

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For more information call:
Donna Zarowny at 338-7130
CUPE Communications Rep Beth Smillie at 539-8597.